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ill since my last letter; she would apprize her of every arrival. I sat down in the widow's parlor, feeling that it was an altered spot. Yet the old heir-looms were all there, and the family clock clicked quietly in the corner. But no young voice echoed there, and I fancied that the happy hearts which used to beat there, would beat never again so merrily.
• By and by my mother entered. She was paler than I had expected, and I saw had delayed, that she might change a ruffle, or add some decoration to her apparel, before she came into the presence of her stranger son, and it grieved me deeply. I thought of the days when I used to leap into her arms; when every hope and fear was nightly divulged to her, and how in after years I took pride in administering to the comforts of that kindest, and humblest, and loveliest of mothers.
. As she advanced toward me, there was a flush upon her cheek, and at first a little formality in her expression; but only for the instant: she clasped her arms around me, and said, with a tenderness I have never forgotten, 'Oh! my son, God bless you !'
• The news of my engagement had come upon her as the storm upon the willow; no resistance, no crash, but its victim yielding, and bent to the earth. There was a sadness and humility about her, which no human words, and no human eye but hers could have expressed.
Of Fanny Lynde she spoke with a delicacy which became so humble a being as herself. But when I told her with my own lips that I was going from the country, and must shortly take leave of her, had her tears been drops of molten lead, they could not more have burned me to the soul.' With a good deal of doubt, I inquired for Anna Carlton. She was rather unwell, and in her room. I knew well enough the illness which detained her, but not the exertion my mother was making to give me a cheerful welcome. But God forbid I should detail that visit! Like the rest of these events, it has passed behind a veil which is seldom withdrawn. I requested, before I left, to see Miss Carlton, if but for an instant, wishing to gaze on a remembrance of better and happier days.
• Several neighbors came to offer congratulations some in ignorance, and some for form. Several were happy I had been so fortunate in my profession and connexions, and others said, bluntly, there was no predicting what changes years might work; and then shaking their heads, hoped the widow was better, and Anna quite well.
Heavy hours rolled away, and the time came for my departure. Of the parting with my mother I shall not speak. It had come to an end, and I was about crossing the threshhold, when I heard a light footstep, and saw. Anna Carlton advancing toward us.
There was not the usual color in her cheek, nor the usual spirit in her eye ;
but there was the same beaming smile as ever. For a moment I stood perfectly unmoved, and when I approached her, speech seemed to have forgotten its office.
• But I had seen, as I had desired, the relic of earlier days, and her glance seemed to roll back the dark tide of years. Perhaps she found the like satisfaction in the interview. She extended her hand, I
clasped it in mine, and with that most common and coldest of forms, without a single word, Anna Carlton and I, who used to chat together from morning till night, separated for ever. I left the cottage with the wish, that as with me pollution had entered, it might follow me thence again, and reached town, my spirits ill according with the merry and gorgeous preparations for the coming wedding.
• Lynde, a weak man in his devotion to the elegancies of life, would fain show the world that he approved of his daughter's marriage. He was resolved that his fair and favorite child should celebrate her nuptials in all the splendor he could command. Fanny Lynde herself moved through the scene like a queen receiving her dues ; her personal beauty and graceful wit had given her a kind of conventional ascendancy; she conversed with all, but, as it were, descended to converse with them. Her father would, time and again, take her hand, and charge her playfully to do him credit at the Court of St. James ; to which a glance of her dark eye, or the scornful turn of her lip, was her only and perhaps best reply.
*I joined in the gayety which was going forward, and watched the splendor which was preparing, apparently with considerable interest.
• At last the month was gone, and the festivities were at hand. Congratulations poured in thanks were returned -- ceremonies were performed ; and little was talked of, but the wedding and our departure. The day before the marriage was to be solemnized, Lynde was sitting in my office, explaining for the hundredth time a certain course I was to pursue, after having officially gained the ambassador's confidence, when a man brought me a letter in a familiar hand, with a black seal. The magistrate urged me to thrust it away for the time; but I had involuntarily broken it open, and — oh God! that letter, and its consequences !!
I do not much regret that my friends record breaks off thus abruptly. Perhaps, unconsciously interested in the circumstances, I bave already extracted more than was fitting. But I shall have little to add. The letter commenced with the most affectionate advice from the widow ; she commended him to the blessing of Heaven with a mother's fervor, and feeling from her increasing weakness that they should never meet again in this world, she besought him, in memory of younger days, and more boyish pleasures, to be a good
Such a tone of perfect mildness and forgiveness as marked that letter, I never before listened to. It reverted a little to old times and old companions ; recalled one or two early adventures, which of a winter's evening at home used to send the laugh round the circle, and besought her son to seek with his best zeal the glory one day to be revealed. From the trembling hand which traced them, these words fell with a burning heat. All at once, the weak hand-writing ended, and, evidently written at a later date, was the following:
God did not permit your dear mother to transmit to you this last memento of her affection. She sank away calmly and unexpectedly, and expired last evening, with your name upon her lips. ANNA CARLTON,
So suddenly, and from such a source, did poor Egerton learn this sad news.
There were many shakings of the head, when it was told through the village that the widow Egerton was dead. Many had said that she was dying of neglect, and many more would not like to charge their consciences with Egerton's coldness to a certain young friend, and prophesied no good of a marriage, which, truth to tell, it were better should not take place.
I have often thought these latter good people spoke with a fair degree of shrewdness. The nuptials were decently delayed, and that delay postponed them for ever. Only a few weeks after the above letter, Fanny Lynde received an injury on an equestrian party of pleasure, and was brought senseless to her father's house. Of Lynde's agony and disappointment, a less haughty man can hardly conceive; so many bright visions, and paternal hopes, dispelled in a moment! He insisted, however, on Egerton's retaining his situation; possibly he could return, and find her improved. Ambition once more conquered ; and when in a few months Charles Egerton sailed for England, his bride had scarcely the consciousness to bid him farewell.
It is rather fashionable now-a-days to make light of affairs of the heart, and to talk coldly about the nonsense of pining for disappointed love. Perhaps in some cases these notions
be sincere; but Anna Carlton knew nothing of them. She had loved Egerton with all her affections, and never once thought of concealing it. We often see a man, when the regard he has trusted totters to the ground, gather strength from the fall, and again be stern and daring. But the delicate hopes and affections of woman are sadly shattered by the jarring
When the widow's household was broken up, Anna Carlton found a home with as kind a friend. Perhaps a stranger would have thought her daily duties cheerfully performed ; and so they were, but not heartily. She was willing to live for others; but for herself, she prayed every night to meet the widow in heaven for those on earth, whom her prayer might avail.
I will not linger on the remainder of this sketch. Sometimes a neighbor would strive to make the young orphan happy, and when in their simple merry-meetings a smile used to sit on Anna's cheek, they fancied her spirits were returning. But her heart was enshrined within an inner temple, the threshhold of which, joy never passed. Not a word of repining ever escaped her, nor was a moment given to idleness; and thus she gently and hourly declined. A few months of sorrow and solitude, and close beside the spot where the widow Egerton was buried, the sod was composed over the grave of her young friend, Anna Carlton.
When the world dazzles, or interest leads astray, I love to wander to that rural burial-place. The unostentatious record of her purity, who is now beyond the reach of all human disappointment, to me is full of meaning, and I take my place again among men, with a kind. lier sympathy for the erring, and better guarded against temptation.
H Y MN.
WRITTEN FOR THE LATE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS, AT
Here then, beneath the green-wood shade,
The same low sounds are in our ears,
How peaceful smiled that Sabbath sun !
Hush'd was the stormy forest's roar,
The young bird, cradled by its nest,
Look now upon the same still scene !
The wood and wild have pass'd away;
And lo! onr goodly heritage,
Far as the spreading gaze is given,
And here, where hearth nor home might bless,
* Supposed to be sung on the spot where the pilgrims landed, and held their first public Sabbath worship
Soft voices wake the streets all day,
Law, Justice, Love, here meet as one,
Then while upon this spot we stand,
By prayer and contemplation led,
Be ours the love hy virtue given -
Their truth, their glory, and their name !
W. T. B.
SHAKSPEARE'S SEVEN A GES.
And then, the justice,
It has lately been well and truly said, “There are two kinds of wisdom : in the one, every age in which science flourishes surpasses, or ought to surpass, its predecessor; of the other, there is nearly an equal amount in all ages. The first is the wisdom which depends upon long chains of reasonings, a comprehensive survey of the whole of a great subject at once, or complicated and subtle processes of metaphysical analysis : this is properly philosophy; the other is that acquired by experience of life, and a good use of the opportunities possessed by all who have mingled much with the world, or who have a large share of human nature in their bosoms. This unsystematic wisdom, drawn from personal experience is termed properly the wisdom of ages.'* The writer from whom we quote, goes on to state, that this notion furnishes a solution of the wisdom of the Proverbs of Solomon, which are, on this account, equally applicable to all periods. Indeed it is the writing from these real sources of knowledge, action and observation, that makes the popularity of Æsop, the excellence of Bacon, and the immortality of Shakspeare. But forms and customs, the science of getting on in the world, change.